The Lovat Vineyard in Martinborough in the lower North Island of New Zealand has been part of Dry River’s holdings since 2002 when the company purchased it. Known as the Arapoff vineyard by the previous owners, Dry River took their first commercial-sized Gewurztraminer crop from this vineyard in 2001. The clones were sourced from Colmar in Alsace. Tastings of older gewurztraminers from Dry River show they are capable of aging magnificently. However these are relatively recent releases in that context and the 2010, in particular, is magnificent already. The vines were 18 years old for the 2010 release.
Dry River Lovat Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2010
Moderate citrine gold. Beguilingly fragrant, a lovely infusion of exotic spices, spring flowers and nectar. The taste and mouthfeel is concentrated and smooth, a touch luscious with dried rose petals and honeysuckle in behind then a ginger zestiness pulsating through. Vibrant and exciting with impeccable balance, it has seamless flow. Only when tasted alongside the other two can you see it has a mellow veneer. 13.5% alc.
Dry River Lovat Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2011
There’s a touch more zest to the fragrance, but it seems a little more waxy too. That contrast (yin & yang) carries through to the palate. Honeyed and a little earthy with Moroccan spices and dried orange zest, it’s very tingly as it lingers then spiced orange honey emerges on the bright lasting finish. Great expansion and length. Some lovely nuances of violet too. 14% alc.
Dry River Lovat Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2012
Powerful with a luscious aura and a distinct exotic spice and floral infused aroma, this is my favourite bouquet of the three. The taste is initially characterised by earthy exotic spices mingling with tantalising dried orange zest and dried flower petals. The viscosity and headiness is seductive and the finish is zesty and exciting. 14.5% alc.
Wines were matched to food and Thai flavours came to mind. With a meal of Hot Thai Green Chicken with coconut milk, green beans, red peppers and Asian eggplant, the sweetness of the wines really complemented the hot spicy food.
Two days later we tried the wines again with spiced pumpkin fritters and prawns, and the 2010 with this was divine. This recipe came from the TASTE website – you can check it out here.
Dry River wines are occasionally available in retail from fine wine stores. www.dryriver.co.nz.